Bumble Bee Foods will pay $6 million and two managers will pay a total of $30,000 in fines to settle criminal charges in connection with the death of a worker inside a tuna oven at the company’s Santa Fe Springs, CA plant. According to a Safety News Alert report, the accident occurred in 2012 when Jose Malena, 62, entered a 35-foot-long industrial pressure cooker used to sterilize cans at the plant. His co-workers didn’t know he was inside and shut the door. The oven’s temperature rose to 270 degrees and a co-worker later found Melena’s severely burned remains. As part of the agreement with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, Bumble Bee agrees to:
- pay $3 million to replace its outdated tuna ovens with new ones that don’t require workers to enter them
- pay $1.5 million in restitution to Melena’s family
- pay $750,000 to the DA’s Environmental Enforcement Fund
- pay $750,000 in combined fines, penalties and court costs
- implement safety measures such as installing video cameras in their ovens
- provide safety training to managers and workers, and
- conduct safety audits of equipment.
Read more from Safety News Alert here.